Lance Armstrong stepping down from Livestrong charity
October 17th, 2012
03:01 PM ET

Lance Armstrong stepping down from Livestrong charity

Editor's note: Controversial American cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman from his Livestrong cancer charity. The announcement comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping program. For more information read our full story here.

[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] Lance Armstrong is about to lose another sponsorship.

The controversial cyclist will lose his contract with Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser, at the end of the year.

 "We have decided not to renew our relationship with Lance Armstrong when our current contract expires at the end of 2012," Paul Chibe, Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Anheuser-Busch said in astatement. "We will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation and its cycling and running events."

[Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET] Nike will take Lance Armstrong’s name off their Nike campus fitness center in Beaverton, Oregon, spokeswoman Mary Remuzz tells CNN.

[Updated at 9:26 a.m. ET] While Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of his charity he is remaining positive about his continued involvement with regard to helping those with cancer.

"My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change," Armstrong said. "We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."

Armstrong will continue to help without the backing of his partners at Nike. Fifteen days ago he posted on his Facebook page:

"Had a great coupla days in Portland working with my great partners Nike. Awesome to see the show of support on livestrongday. 16 yrs!" he wrote. "Headed back 2 Austin now 2 celebrate with family/friends. There were days I never thought I'd see 2012. Blessed to be this side of the grass."

As of this update, the status had 10,911 "likes." Armstrong's most recent tweet, from five days ago, praised the work of Livestrong.

[Updated at 8:52 a.m. ET] Lance Armstrong's commitment to helping others with cancer has been a big reason the Livestrong was able to raise so much money over the years, Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the charity said in a statement.

"Long before he became a household name, Lance Armstrong created a foundation to serve others facing the same fears and challenges he struggled to overcome as a result of his cancer diagnosis. Today, thanks to Lance's leadership, that foundation has had the privilege of raising close to $500 million to serve people affected by cancer.

Lance has made this foundation and its cause - aiding people whose lives have been touched by this disease - his life's work. His leadership in the cancer community has spurred immeasurable progress and it has been a great privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with him on a daily basis during his chairmanship.

We are grateful to Jeff Garvey for assuming the responsibilities of chairman. Jeff has been a guiding presence for Livestrong for 15 years and we look forward to a seamless transition under his leadership and a continued strong focus on our core values and mission.

Lance's devotion to serving others whose lives were irrevocably changed by cancer, as his was, is unsurpassable. We are incredibly proud of his record as an advocate and philanthropist and are deeply grateful that Lance and his family will continue to be actively involved with the Foundation's advocacy and service work. We look forward to celebrating 15 years of progress with Lance and his family this weekend and recommitting ourselves to the work of the cancer community for the years ahead."

[Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET] Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong charity "to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career," according to a statement posted to the group's website.

Armstrong added that he will still devote his life to the work of the foundation and remain advocates for cancer survivors.

The controversial cyclist's full statement was posted on the Livestrong website:

"In 1996, as my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.

I am deeply grateful to the people of the foundation who have done such hard and excellent work over the last 15 years, building tangible and effective ways to improve the lives of cancer survivors. And I am deeply humbled by the support our foundation has received from so many people throughout the world - survivors, world leaders, business leaders and of course, the cancer community itself. We turn to this community frequently for guidance and collaboration to achieve our shared goals. They are unfailingly generous with their wisdom and counsel and I can never thank them enough.

I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.

My duties will transfer to Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey who will serve as chairman. Jeff's guidance and wisdom have been critical to shaping the foundation's work since its earliest days. Jeff was this organization's founding chairman and I have full confidence that under his leadership, the foundation will continue expanding its ability to serve cancer survivors.

My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."

[Updated at 8:22 a.m. ET] Nike has just released a statement saying they have terminated their contract with Lance Armstrong for misleading them for more than a decade.

"Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner," the statement on Nike's website reads. "Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by cancer.

[Posted at 8:12 a.m. ET] Controversial American cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of his Livestrong charity, which was set up to "fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer."

The move comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping program while a professional cyclist.

Armstrong found out he had testicular cancer at age 25 when he was emerging as a rising star among cyclists. He started a small group to raise money for cancer called the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997. 84 million bright yellow Livestrong wristbands have been distributed since 2004.

In the wake of the doping scandal critics have struck out the "V" in the bracelet to make it read what they accuse Armstrong of doing for more than a decade: "LIE STRONG."

Read more about the scandal involving Armstrong here:

Armstrong give up doping fight, says it's time to move forward

The Armstrong report

Evidence against Armstrong 'overwhelming,' agency says

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Chicago Cubs

    We will be announcing later today that Nike is terminating our contract for impersonating a baseball team.....

    October 17, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Lolah

      nice! love it

      October 17, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jason

    He used his celebrity and money to do great things. The world is a better place for from that!

    Then he lied. Drug tests have no way of catching blood doping. He said he passed 500 tests, but will not take a lie detector test?

    October 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      He used his celebrity to do great things for and enrich himself. You need to look at the financials of Livestrong. Almost no money goes to cancer research in spite of what he says and the vast majority of the money goes to marketing and for profit branches of the "charity".

      October 17, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      He still gave more than I did, Bian. Maybe not you though

      October 17, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    I'm tired of all the "overwhelming evidence". If they had "oe", they would have been able to detect the steroids in his blood. Everything else is hearsay. We put more faith in people's comments rather than science. This is turning into another Penn State episode where you'd think Joe Paterno was the criminal and not Jerry Sandusky. It's time that the justice in this country renew itself and start looking at facts and not fiction.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      They did detect steroids in his blood in the 1999 TdF. It was cleared up with a fake back-dated prescription.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • nanapay81

      totally agree!

      October 17, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      The overwhelming evidence as you say, shows clearly just how they got around the science. Even with that there were as many as 7 failed drug tests. 5 after the fact, one covered up by a post dated TUE and one that was covered up.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tricia

    Say it ain't so, Lance.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    Lance is the poster boy for glue sniffing.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shelly

    This is total BS.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jim

    Romney has "binders full" of evidence on Lance,....

    October 17, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Shelly

    & I will NEVER buy another Nike product as long as I live. Granted, I haven't bought anything from them in years, but whatever, Nike sucks.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Yes, shame on Nike for not wanting their name associated with a liar. Shame, shame.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. michael

    I dont follow your logic. Other people got away with cheating so just let lance as well? I dont think anyone "feels good" that a folk hero got busted. But simply put, in this modern age, nothing is sacred. If you cheat, watch your back. Bill belichick. Bernie madoff. Al Sharpton
    Watch. Your. Back !

    October 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Yep. One can just as easily answer that other people have NOT got away with it, so why should Armstrong? What he did to himself is one issue. His bullying and browbeating and reputation-destroying of those who outed him, as well as his continued lying now, is something else.

      October 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Grouchy One

    I don't understand why he would step down. I was promoting Livestrong and I didn't even know Lance Armstrong was involved with it. I wouldn't have cared if I had known. It wasn't like he was some skid row hobo laying in the gutter covered with sores from meth or something. He wasn't on a killing spree trying to steal money to support his coke habit. He wasn't harming anyone. The sports world needs to get a grip and realize that some things are just a given Furthermnore, people have a right to use legally obtabinable substances.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      The substances he used aren't legally obtainable for the purposes he was using them, anymore than cocaine is a legal way to get high.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You didn't know that Lance Armstrong was even involved in Livestrong...have you been living under a rock?

      October 17, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • chuckbizzy

      WOW! How do you promote something that you know nothing about?

      October 17, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lolah

    This story makes me so mad!!!! Why is it when we (the U.S.) have a "hero" or someone we can look up to, we have to make some kind of scandal about them? Do people realize most of the "drugs" Lance was on he had to take as part of his cancer treatment??? Absolutely disgusted with story.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  12. peakprofit

    I will admit, up front, that my personal opinion is that Armstrong doped. It has been for a while. Still, this is a committe that had a clear agenda. It did not adhere to any of the rules of evidence that has made the US one of the leaders of the world legal system. As for the notion of arbitration, I would suggest you consider this no different than the arbitration that one has to go through with an insurance company, or your credit card company or Paypal. The system is decidedly fixed toward one party.

    I do find it interesting that a governmental agency – with full subpoena powers found that there was no credible evidence, just 6 months before this 'committee'. Where were all these statements, when the same exact people testified before the government?

    October 17, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Fargo

      The federal case against him was pursuing different charges – doping in sport is not a federal crime. Also, the lead prosecutor mysteriously and very abruptly ended the investigation, only telling his staff 15 minutes before the announcement of such to the media.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      Different charges and most of the lead investigators say they had a strong case but were told to drop it before they could bring charges against LA. Given the political pressure being put on USADA, that isn't surprising in retrospect.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Johnny 5

    It's nearly impossible for any athlete to perform at Lance's level without some sort of help or "doping". "Doping" is highly common in the sports world. Lance still had to go out there an do it and he still had to bust his ass. His cancer foundation is top rate as well.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Robert

    Orchestrated by the French slime who can't stand Americans.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      What? Seriously?

      October 17, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • jmc45

      Yep. Those damn French members of the United States Anti Doping Agency.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. Christopher

    Nike pulls sponsorship?!?!?!?!?! Their fricken slogan is "JUST DO IT" seems to me they pressured him to just do PEDs.

    Okay haters, this is simply a joke!!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
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